Health Policy

July 6, 2022: Separation of Church and State

Posted on July 06, 2022 at 12:00 AM

by Karen Pataky, Chair, Health Policy Task Force

“The purpose of separation of Church and State is to keep forever
from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked
the soil of Europe in blood for centuries….”
—James Madison

Tragically for our democracy, the far right-wing of American Christianity has captured the voice of the United States government via the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate Roe v Wade. The deliberation prior to the decision was so secretive that there were few of the customary public hearings. And it’s not just abortions that will be illegal in many states. The minority fringe has also declared that every effective method of birth control is also to be forbidden. Their totally unscientific rationale is that even the microscopic 2-cell zygote has the ensoulment of a full-born human infant and that any infringement of the development of that zygote is equivalent to the abortion of a full-term fetus. So, all methods of contraception are therefore deemed illegal. Some religious leaders also perceive that condoms should be avoided because “every sperm is a potential baby.”

Sadly, forbidding hormonal contraception will result in added cruelty for many women who have suffered serious gynecologic symptoms for which estrogen and progesterone are the safest and most effective therapies, including:

  • adolescent cystic acne
  • premenstrual syndrome
  • menstrual migraines
  • severe menstrual cramps
  • severe heavy menstrual bleeding
  • irregular menstrual bleeding
  • prevention of recurrence of ovarian cysts
  • prevention of ovarian cancer with family history of ovarian cancer
  • amenorrhea (no periods), which increases the risk of osteoporosis

More tragically, even when a pregnant woman is diagnosed with cancer, saving the pregnancy is paramount, and abortion is forbidden, so less effective cancer therapies will be offered to treat the cancer.

Total control of women’s reproductive lives has a fascist history in past centuries. We cannot let it happen again. We must vote out of office every politician who would control women’s reproductive lives. This must be our top priority every day.

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